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TRASHY PICK-UP ARTIST
Find out what fashion and the environment have in common
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WORDS IN MOTION
Artist inspires youth to action with choreographed, poetic performances
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CREATING A SCENE
Ghana native incorporates his colorful culture into Twin Cities hip-hop
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MINNEAPOLIS' HOMEGROWN HANGOUT
Danny Schwartzman opens a café with a conscience
Few people consider a profound lack of experience the perfect foundation for a radically different restaurant model, but for 26-year-old Danny Schwartzman, it served as a launch pad. Last July, the community organizer focused his grassroots approach on a new project and opened Common Roots Café on a busy street in south Minneapolis.

"I really wanted to do a space that provides a community resource, a place for people to come together," Schwartzman says. "And serve really good, local, organic food at an affordable price."

Since Common Roots opened, 81 percent of their food and beverage purchases have been local, organic, or fair trade. All of the food is made from scratch, and even the beer and wine choices are local and fair trade too. Plus the café offers up its backroom to nonprofit organizations for meetings, free of charge.

Schwartzman also pays his employees a starting salary of $11.40 per hour, and offers health insurance to all working 20 hours or more a week.

Having worked on political campaigns and with nonprofits, Schwartzman says it is important for passionate entrepreneurs to believe anything is possible. "The first thing that we did with the project was sit down with people, ask questions, and get advice."

Schwartzman says his lack of experience in the industry may be a good thing because the café is open to trying new things. "I think it's important to not be afraid to do what you believe in, as opposed to what people are used to doing."
 
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